The Buffalo Bills have signed five players and released one since the 2014 NFL free agency period opened on Tuesday. Heading into the remainder of their offseason, the Bills still have plenty of money to work with.
The first order of business was to re-sign kicker Dan Carpenter. WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia has a full breakdown of Carpenter's four-year contract, which is worth just under $10 million with a $2 million signing bonus. Also re-signed was tight end Mike Caussin, who is likely making the minimum $645,000 salary in 2014 after injuries cost him the last two seasons.
Buffalo's biggest free agent deal (so far) went to cornerback Corey Graham, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract. Four million of that is signing bonus with much more able to be earned through incentives. Left guard Chris Williams inked a four-year, $13.5 million contact with $5.5 million guaranteed. Most of that guaranteed money is likely in the form of a signing bonus. Linebacker Keith Rivers signed for two years and $5 million, with about half of that guaranteed.
The Bills did subtract some salary and a hefty cap hit by releasing Kevin Kolb due to a failed physical; that move saved $3.1 million against the salary cap in 2014, and Kolb costs just $500,000 in that calculation. At the time he was signed, the contract was viewed as a lot of money for an injury-prone player, but the Bills protected themselves well.
The demarcated estimates below are based on similar contracts.
|Player||Total contract worth||Guarantees||2014 cap hit|
|Kevin Kolb||$3.6 million||- $3.1 million|
|Dan Carpenter||$9.95 million||$2 million||$1.8 million|
|Mike Caussin||$645,000 (est.)||$645,000 (est.)|
|Chris Williams||$13.5 million||$5.5 million||$2.5 million (est.)|
|Corey Graham||$16.3 million||$8 million||$3.75 million|
|Keith Rivers||$5 million||$2.5 million||$2.25 million (est.)|
In total, the Bills handed out over $45 million in contracts on Tuesday and Wednesday with roughly $18 million in guarantees. Their cap hit from these new contracts is, combined, approximately $11 million. After factoring in the Kolb deal, Buffalo's net gain so far in the 2014 league year is $41.5 million in contracts, but only a $7.75 million increase in their cap.
After beginning the offseason with $22 million in space, Buffalo still has over $14 million to work with to sign a safety to replace Jairus Byrd or a defensive end, linebacker, and tight end. With holes remaining on their roster, expect more moves in the coming days and weeks.